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Chicago Public Schools CEO, Arne Duncan, is Barack Obama’s choice for the position of US Secretary of Education. Like Obama, Duncan attended Harvard University and has been friends with the new US President for more than a decade. While he is portrayed as a reformer in elementary and secondary education - he has handled the third-largest US school district for the past seven years - Duncan seems to lack noteworthy experience in the field of higher education.
Unsurprisingly, during his Senate confirmation hearing he gave very few indications of what the public might expect during his term when it comes to tertiary education. His references were mainly limited to the “access” and “affordability” of higher education - no mention of the much acclaimed teacher “accountability”. Notwithstanding, he is considered by most experts to be a quiet consensus builder. Hopefully, the new Secretary will manage to bring the American higher education ship into the shore, despite the troubled economic waters.